tv Our World With Black Enterprise FOX December 4, 2011 5:30am-6:00am PST
r&b sensation ne-yo is riding the wave of his fourth successful album. in this all-access interview, he shares why he's mixing things up and what's in his future that fans will love. first of all, congratulations are in order. not too long ago, you gave birth to a little baby girl. >> yeah, yeah. madeline grace. she's probably asleep. i'm a proud pappa. >> you've also given birth to another project of sorts, this new album? >> yes. >> tell me about it. >> based off a short story, leeber scale. the story beckons the question, way it out on your personal
leaver scale between love versus money, power and fame, which way would the scales tip for you? ♪ >> did you see yourself ending up here when you started off? >> you know what? i knew i was going to do music. i didn't know in what way. i didn't know whether it would be writing for other people or doing stuff for myself. i new from age 9 that it was going to be music. i've always been an annoyingly optimistic person. even in the situation where there wasn't no food in the house or whatever the case may be, i don't know how we'll pay this bill, whatever the case may be, i always felt like it was temporary. once this music thing happens, everything will be all right. sure know enough, mamma don't have to work no more. >> what first got you into this?
>> my mom. my mom is my hero. i was about to say was, but she still is to this day, my absolute hero. anything she was in to, i was in to. her love for music poured over to me. i remember my mom gave me michael jackson's "off the wall" and stevie wonder's, i think it was "hotter than july." study these two and how they use their instruments. >> seems like michael jackson has been a big influence? >> definitely. >> i can almost say there would be no ne-yo if it weren't for michael jackson. he set the blueprint for what it was to be a serious artist. ♪ >> toward the latter part of michael jackson's life, you had the opportunity to work for him and write for him, right? >> yeah. we were in the process -- i was submitting songs to mike. i got a chance to meet him which
was surreal. >> i got to ask you. that's the biggest question. what's it like to meet michael jackson? >> fis first words to me. do you know what your favorite song is? i stepped outside myself and said michael jackson has a favorite song of mine. he said it was "gone girl." ♪ >> he sang a piece of it. and i would have fainted, you know. were i less of a man, i would have fainted. >> there's a few peepgs you have exceptions, michael jackson, mohammed -- >> fan nattic out a little bit. but i kept it together. i was like, you sound good
singing that. what? what did you just say? >> when you write songs, i think one of the most amazing things about you as a songwriter is you don't put ne-yo's voice and feelings into somebody else's mouthed. when i hear you writing for rihanna, beyonce, i hear songs -- how do you make that happen? how do you make the shift from writing to yourself to writing for somebody else? >> to be completely honest, i really don't know. people asked me how do i write for women? >> yeah, for example. >> i really don't to be honest with you. any song i've ever written for a woman, i've basically taken feelings i've felt before as a man and reversed it. >> some of that stuff isn't just you thinking like a woman. something is something some woman has told you before. when i hear "take a bow," that's somebody saying -- >> actually, "take a bow" is a story about something that happened to me personally.
"take a bow" -- "irreplaceable" is about a relationship one of my aunts went through. i grew up in the house with my mom, my sister and about five aunts. i was there for every broken window, slashed tire, i was there. >> you lived the tyler perry movie. >> yeah, takeing it all in. >> you're committed to changing the world in different ways. >> yeah, compound foundation, a personal passion of mine, just bringing awarnsz to child welfare, the forgotten children as some people like to call them. the kids in the welfare system, from foster homes, foster care, group homes, things of that nature. >> you already had that in the prove vees, writing albums, thefr inning else. what's next? >> lord willing, more. i feel like where entertainment is now, from movies to music,
we're in a stupid standstill where it's like, there's no intelligent entertainment out there. i feel like entertainment as a whole is in a place where nobody is really trying right now. so in five years, hopefully i'll be part of what changes that. >> see you going as far as you want to. >> appreciate it. >> thank you so much for spending time with me. >> thank you, brother. putting a stop to bullying. that's our "on the record" discussion. >> kids and parents don't understand the power they wield when they get onto the net and start talking about other people. hchchchchchchchchc hchchchchc
a reporteded 25% of american students are bullied at least once a day. what are schools, parents and the community doing to stop this crisis? joining me to discuss this are res lynn ali, assistant secretary of education for civil rights, psychologist jeff gardier contributor to healthgur rhee.com and wilhemina stone who lost her teenage son to suicide. reslin, i want to start with you. this conversation about bullying is being distributed throughout the media. what is bullying? >> there is no federal definition of bullying, it's state specific. when bullying rises to the level of harassment, when students cannot enjoy going to school, when they are hampered from learning, there is a really serious problem. >> and what are some of the signs we of bullying?
>> remarkably what we find out sometimes and quite often actually, a lot of our children don't talk about the bullying. they feel ashamed. we do have to look for some of the subtle signs. one of the biggest signs is all of the sudden they lose interest in going to school. of course, the most obvious sign is if they're being physically bullied, then they will have marks. that's a real indication that something very insidious is going on on the school grounds. that's where we see a lot of the bullying taking place. >> reslin, tell me about the initiative of president obama? >> it's interagency. it spans the federal government. and the u.s. department of education, we commit millions of dollars, $410 million to safe schools in an attempt to try and help educators deal with this problem. we've also recently released guidance out of the office for civil rights reminding educators, schools, school districts, colleges and universities across the country
when bullying rises to the level of a harassing environment, the school itself, adults in the school become responsible or the school could risk losing federal funds. too many educators and adults across the country sherk it off, shrug it off as if it's a right of passage. the unspeakable tragedies over the last several months, what ms. stone has been through with what happened to her son, this myth it's a right of passage, we need to flip that. we all have a challenge in this country to cure this crisis. >> that's why it's so important, mark, that the schools step in because statistics have shown when schools do programs, do assemblies, we see the numbers of bullying, the incidents of bullying actually go down because it is about educating and letting them know, you're right, that, yes, we do see it as a right of passage. but it is the wrong behavior in the school setting.
>> so many people think of bullying in an abstract sense. they hear the stories but don't have a face or name to it. one of the things that you've experienced in your own life was your son who was bullied. what exactly happened and what was that like? >> well, what happened in his case, joshua was his name, joshua jordan stone. he was 15 years old, and it had been going on for some time, even throughout elementary school. and he just couldn't take anymore. there was physical abuse in the school, in the hallways, in the classroom. there was name calling. there was calling the home -- our home at night at odd hours. there was just an array of different things. >> you made attempts to deal with this, right? you talked to the school? >> yes. >> what kind of response did you
get? >> well, administrators said that they would take care of it, that they would talk with his social worker, for instance, who had knowledge of this situation. but they never inter-reacted. therefore, the system failed us. >> this story is sad and unnecessary. it seems to be a common occurrence and seems to be something we hear more about, that the system failed. what can the system do to deal with this? >> we certainly have a lot to learn. the president is utterly committed to this -- >> we've got to dispel this myth that bullying is just a normal right of passage, that it's some inevitable part of growing up. it's not. we have an obligation to ensure our schools are safe for all of our kids. >> we are -- the white house will be hosting a conference early next year so we can learn the tools, the best practices so we can help educators and
parents and communities deal with this problem. certainly it's about professional development so that educators and administrators can spot bullying and harassment when they see it, prevent it and do something about it. it's also about enforcing the civil rights laws so that they understand that this perceived right of passage is actually illegal according to our federal civil rights laws and education. it's about transforming communities so that students become more tolerant of one another and themselves. and it's about ensuring that our schools are safe havens for learning. kids can't learn if they don't feel safe. >> isn't that the key, though, that it has to be prophylactic. you don't wait for it to happen and have to react because sometimes the systems do fail. that happens. you have to get in there and educate kids about tolerance, about love, about acceptance, and that if they feel that they must say something to another student or that they have some beef to work out, that there should be proper conflict
resolution instead of harassing or cyber bullying which is so powerful and has destroyed so many lives. >> i'm glad you bring up this point of cyber bullying as well. in the 21st century it seems bullying has taken on a whole range of forms, to intimidation, cyber bullying. how do we keep track of all these new forms of bullying? it seems harder and harder to keep track of it all? >> well, the laws need to catch up with the technology. social media technology has outpaced. no one could have expected what could happen when what starts off as a rumor gets sent around the world. >> that's a great point because psychologically we haven't caught up. it is a culture shock. kids and parents don't understand the power that they yield, wield when they get onto the net and start talking about other people. >> wilhemina, one of tissues your son was navigating was his issue around gender and sexual
identity. he was at a point in his life that he was beginning to question and other students identified with that. that was part of the harassment, correct? >> that's correct. >> do you think the response would have been different if your son was identified as a traditional, straight young male? >> i think so. i think so. as a matter of fact, i had -- i was encouraging josh to cut his hair, and it was not easy for him. one of the things that i regret was that let him be the person that he is, and that should be good enough. >> that's right. you did the positive thing. this is what we need to do as parents because we know there is a statistic that gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgeneraler questioning children are four times more likely to commit suicide versus heterosexual children, and that's without the harassment. when you throw the harassment in, those children are at risk and the thing that we need to do is to be there for them every step of the way, for all of our
children, for gay, lesbian, bisexual chifrn and so on. i think sometimes there is a prejudice where they say, well, the kid is gay, let the community deal with it. >> that's my question. particularly around the issue of civil rights. even as an african-american community we often think about civil rights only as black people. even if we're talking about black people, some are gay, lesbian, transgender. if they're in school being harassed on the basis of gender or sexual identity, we have to have the same sense of urgency, right? >> well, it's a little more complicated than that. we don't hold jurisdiction over sexual orientation. but as in the case of wilhemina's son -- they're not considered a protected class in the same way race is. >> if your child is being harassed for sex identity, you can't file civil rights -- >> yes, you can. as in the case of wilhemina's tragedy, so many across the country, students aren't bum lead or harassed because they're
gay, lesbian, transgender, they're bullied and harassed because they're not submitting to traditional roles. that said, when they are harassed because they aren't conforming to what we perceive of as male behavior or traditional female behavior and it rises to the level of a hostile environment, it very well may violate the civil rights laws. >> that's important insight. the parents know not only is this a deep problem, but there are concrete solutions and steps they can take to make all of this better. we'll be right back with final thoughts. calling a spade a spade. saying it's wrong and having the ad [ male announcer next gear is reinventing the best selling car in america and making it a 200 hp... 43 mpg rated hybrid. ♪ next gear is the ability to connect to the world with your voice. find coffee. [ male announcer next gear is taking your smartphone and giving it wheels.
we're back with our panel lifts. the topic is bullying. wilhemina, you have the opportunity to talk to other parents who are going through what your son went through. if you were to give them advice, what might be one way you could tell them to get involved and deal with this issue of bully? >> first of all, to fight for their children and their safety. schools should be a safe haven for our children. secondly, talk to administrators, the pta. we've all got to get involved. it's not something that's just going to pass by and it
escalat escalates. and the worst possibility and the worst scenario is bullying that turns into suicide which is the new term bullycide. >> i used to teach high school. whenever i would call a parent to their child, i got the uniform from everybody, not my child, my child is the best. we've spent all the time talking about children who are bullied. how about those that are bullies? >> first we need to spot it. we need to confront it. we all have a responsibility to ensure that bullies aren't empowered, that we don't feed that kind of anger that then breeds violence or in the case of tragic suicides. calling a spade a spade. saying that it's wrong and having the adults and community members come around to stop it. >> and step in to find out what is that bullying ability? yes, it can be your child because we found out that kids who are bullying later on become
bullied themselves. so it's interchangeable. but there is an emotional component there, especially for the child who bullies. we need find out what's happening at home that our child is now expressing these very aggressive behaviors? is it a depression? is it an anxiety? are there other comorbidities going on where the child may be smoking or precocious sexually. it's more of an emotional issue and it has to be addressed. >> finding the root cause is important. we have to stop it. we can't endorse it. we have to punish it and discipline it. >> thank you so much for your time. [ umpire strike 3. you're out! [ cheers and applause [ playing out of tune [ playing in tune [ male announcer at mcdonald's®, we support the community by giving to programs that bring out the best in our youth...
ali, dr. jeff gardere, ms. wilhemina stone, thank you for being here. that wraps it up here on "our world with black enterprise." i'm marc lamont hill. check me out on facebook or follow me on twitter. thanks for watching "our world with black enterprise." so i take emergen-c. with 1,000 milligrams of vitamin c and energizing b vitamins, i can handle any commute. emergen-c. feel the good.